Njanike takes over at Trust Discount House

BusinessProfile 

Ngoni Chanakira

TRUST Discount House Ltd has appointed Raymond Njanike managing director with effect from July 1 2003.



ana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>At 35 Njanike is arguably one of the youngest heads of a major financial institution division in Zimbabwe.


The discount house is a subsidiary of Trust Holdings Ltd (Trust), an investment holding company incorporated in Zimbabwe.


Trust has subsidiaries engaged in merchant and retail banking, asset management, stockbroking, installment and pre-mium finance, private banking and insurance broking.


“I am not risk averse and have ventured into what could be considered risky projects in my earlier days,” Njanike said in an interview this week.


“I have always admired those indigenous banking executives who left traditional banks to start their own. I take this as a great challenge for the sector which has gradually diversified.”


The banker has more than 15 years experience in the financial services sector, having begun his career at Standard Chartered Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd in 1988.


He has worked for leading financial institutions such as Syfrets Merchant Banks’ trea-sury department, Zimbabwe Financial Holdings, and Time Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd in various capacities.


Njanike says the bank’sdiversification strategy and the establishment of Trust Discount House, as an addition to THL business portfolio, will definitely provide another source of revenue for Trust shareholders and investors. “This has provided me with an opportunity to introduce new and innovative financial products to the market.”


Trust has become a fast-growing diversified financial services group and it has become necessary to create business units that will clearly focus on the different aspects of banking.


“The discount house is an addition that will definitely create value to our shareholders. Therefore, we don’t want two plus one to equal three, but four.”


He said each group division enabled heads to focus on specific products.

“In our discount house we do the traditional functions such as accepting deposits, dealing in short-term assets such as TBs, NCDs and other money market securities,” he said. “We will be heavily involved in structured deals and trading in financial derivatives to help other financial institutions and large corporate entities with their liquidity management and hedge mechanisms against various risks. We also carry out high value transactions.”


Njanike said Trust’s key drivers, which will enable it to be a leading discount house in the “shortest possible time” included financial strength and adequate capitalisation, the existing state-of-the-art information technology system and support services, and guaranteed availability of trading assets generated by the group.


“We must correctly price our products,” he said. “Bankers must compete on a level playing field and not try and disadvantage each other.

Competition is not about disabling the competitor but about co-operating and having quality products and services that more than delights the customer thereby creating loyalty. We all need to educate our customers about the products that we have.”


Commenting on the serious cash crisis bedeviling Zimbabwe, Njanike said the financial sector needed to educate customers that it was not only cash that needed to be used for transactions.


He said customers could use “plastic money” such as MasterCard, Visa cards etc, which paid for products just like cash.


“The long-lasting so-lution though is the introduction of higher denominations of our currency given its value against the other major international currencies,” he said.


He said the country’s telecommunications system needed a major overhaul because on many occasions even if there was money in ATMs, they were down because of the haphazard telecomm system.


“Sometimes ATMs are offline because of the telecomm system,” he said.

“We should understand that our business sector cannot operate without a smooth communications sector”.


Njanike is an associate member of the Institute of Bankers of Zimbabwe and is studying for a Master of Business Administration degree with the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.